Posted by: sweeneyblog | March 13, 2015

Friday Odds and Ends: Hill’s Run, Charter Chokes and Larsen Sass

Hello Loyal Readers,

Back for another sumptuous dose of political news! As always, you can support our efforts by clicking the big ol’ donate button here.

Sen. Andy Hill

Sen. Andy Hill

The Stranger has unearthed emails showing that State Senator Andy Hill (R-Kirkland) is preparing to run for Governor next year against Gov. Jay Inslee. You may remember Sen. Hill as the senator who referred to Democratic volunteers “thugs”, or maybe you remember him as the senator who says he “supports abortion rights” and then votes repeatedly to block the Reproductive Parity Act, or you may just remember him as the guy who wrote our state budget that continues to gut education while giving big giveaways to Oil companies.

The emails, from none other than former Secretary of State Sam Reed (R), were directed to a group of Republican donors and supporters to generate some support for Hill’s run. “I had breakfast this morning with State Senator Andy Hill. I wanted to find out if there is a real possibility of him running for governor. I came away from our breakfast believing that there is a real possibility.”

Closer to home, the Charter Review managed NOT to move forward on the amendment that would cut off funding to the Bellingham Food Bank. Bravo for not screwing over 140,000 residents of Whatcom County that use the Food Bank. James Gibson has done a GREAT job of documenting the activity with the Charter Review Commission in his blog Politics Whatcom.

Long-time City Councilman Terry Bornemann announced that he is running for re-election. From his press release, “he is running for re-election to provide stability, leadership, and historical knowledge of city government to the Council as the city continues to navigate its way into better economic times. He also said he will continue to be a voice for underserved communities.” He already has some competition, libertarian candidate Nicholas Kunkel has announced he is running against Bornemann for the Ward 5th seat.

Rep. Rick Larsen

Rep. Rick Larsen

Finally, Congressman Rick Larsen was in town yesterday. Speaking to the Democratic Women’s Club, he fielded questions about TPP, Job training investments and who would be his pick for President. The most interesting question and response came from Zetta Brecher who asked Rep. Larsen who were the “up-and-comers” in the House.

Larsen cracked a big smile, “Well, Rick Larsen, of course.” He name-checked Rep. Xavier Becarra from California as one of the brightest young minds in the House.

Finally, Sen. Ericksen and Reps. Buys and Van Werven will be at Whatcom Community College at 1pm this Saturday to hold a town hall meeting. If you are feeling feisty, please show up and ask Rep. Van Werven why she voted against testing rape kits (HB1068).



  1. Riley can you tell us what Rick Larsens position is on TPP? Anyone? Thank You in advance for information regarding this issue.

    • His response was that they are still working on it. Not really much beyond that of note.

      • Thank You Riley for your response. I am concerned he is going to vote for it. If that happens I hope the party realizes the extent of his betrayal of the working public.

  2. Don’t you have to be raped in order to test a rape test kit?

    • The state has a backlog of rape kits where we have collected the samples but are unable to move forward on prosecution until we have ran the tests and compared the results against material collected from the suspects. It is how we put rapists in jail. And Rep. van Werven voted against it and we deserve to know why.

  3. Vote for Andy, not an over the hill Jay.

  4. It sounds like we have our own local version of Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan in Andy Hill. Looking at Wisconsin makes me hope Hill’s ideas of leadership never get off the ground in Washington State.

  5. Re: Charter Review Comm’n – well they are listening, apparently.

    Re: Terry Bornemann – Go Terry! Thanks for giving it the old college try, again!

  6. i don’t want to spoil Riley’s sensational coverage, but the Charter Commission intends to at least discuss and vote on most ideas submitted to us, good or bad. The most clearly bad ones will be voted down by a large margin or unanimously.

    The Bham Herald and other media have been reporting each agenda item that will be considered, as if it was a policy thrust with any sort of support. An agenda item may or may not have from 1% to 100% support.

    The item that would have cut county funding to the food bank, would have cut a supplement that is actually only a tiny percentage of the FB’s operating budget (where the county recently gave them twice what they even asked for), but nevertheless the fund cutting ammendment never had any more than a few votes of support on the 15 member commission. I am told that Sam Crawford wrote it, so we looked at it, and it was so broad and sweeping, that even conservative members of the commission who favor big cuts to some nonprofits, did not support the total ban on all such spending.

    It spun into a virtual “cry wolf” situation, wasting much time and heartache and energy of the townspeople who came to the commission meetings in several locations to plead and testify and comment against the theoretical move.

    • Good point Richard.

      Still we need to eliminate funding NGO’s like RE Sources that are nothing but Radical Far-Left organizations driven by AGENDA 21.

      • Wayne – Do you ever get tired of spouting drivel? Just asking.

      • Walter,

        If you were using “critical logic” you would NOT pose such a ridiculous question.

      • Wayne – You consistently make the same mistake of assuming that all other factions use the same tactics and techniques as your own faction. An example is saying that “far-left organizations are driven by Agenda 21.” This is what you right wingers are doing, not the “far-left.” To wit, the Koch Brothers are a monolithic organization that funds many smaller organizations including the Tea Party and climate change deniers. In other words, the money and lies run downhill for all you right wingers.

        The so-called “far-left” have no organizations. Far-left organization is an oxymoron (look it up).

        What you spout is just drivel. It has neither external nor internal logic. It does not pass the “sniff” test nor the “flagpole” test. It is a “dog that won’t hunt.”

      • “Far-left politics or extreme-left politics are left-wing politics that are further to the left than mainstream centre-left politics. The far left seeks equality of outcome and the dismantlement of all forms of social stratification.[1] Far leftists seek to abolish all forms of hierarchy, particularly the inequitable distribution of wealth and power.[1] The far left seeks a society in which everyone is provided equal economic and social opportunities, and no one has excessive wealth or power over others.[1]

        The far left typically believes that inegalitarian systems must be overthrown through revolution in order to establish egalitarian societies, while the centre left works within the system to achieve egalitarianism.[1] In societies that tolerate dissent, far-left groups usually participate in the democratic process to advance their goals.[2] The far left demands radical changes to dismantle unequal societies, including confiscation of wealth that is concentrated in a small elite, and redistribution of that wealth in an egalitarian manner.[1]”-Wikipedia

        ” Far Left
        Also known as the extreme left, ultra left or radical left. The Far Left most often includes [anarchists] and communists. The Far Left refers to the highest degree of leftism in politics, and seeks perfect or near perfect equality. Often anti-property, anti-capitalist, anti-fascist, anti-liberal, and anti-conservative”. The Urban Dictionary

        The second one fit YOU perfectly-ANARCHIST.

      • LOL – As I say quite often to you Wayne, “Pull the other one!”

        Seriously Wayne (as I wipe away tears of laughter), do you really think you can even understand what my motives are, blinkered as you are in a fog of discontent since 1964? Haw, haw, haw.

        Stick with attacking liberals Wayne – they are easy prey.

    • Well it’s gotten people paying attention to the shenanigans some of the reactionary loons on the Commission are up to. Just read Wayne’s “drivel” (good point Walter) and see what kind if nonsense informs these people. Agenda 21? I worry about the basic sanity of people who sincerely believe this. Not that I think Wayne does- he thinks he’s being cute by taunting the libruls.

      • Camp David,

        And what is a “librul”?

      • In the world of Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh, “librul” is a pejorative term for democrats. The strict meaning of the word is someone who thinks for themselves and is not subject to an -ism – which I subscribe to. What kind of person would consider thinking for yourself as a bad thing? Well, fascists like Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh, the Tokyo Roses of the parasitic profiteering traitorous corporatist elite.

    • Richard, an agenda item needs to have at least 13 percent approval to get off the ground (a motion and a second on the 15-member body). If a commissioner doesn’t support an amendment, it is their responsibility to not stand up on behalf of the citizen who wrote the amendment and introduce it. There is no way for the public or for a reporter to know in advance whether a majority-right-wing Charter Review Commission would or wouldn’t adopt the no-funding-for-nonprofits amendment, or something similar to it. I felt it was my duty as a journalist to let the public know what had been advanced in the commission, with two votes of support and — it would be easy to imagine — with another six possibly out there.

    • Richard-
      What ideas have been submitted? How many of those “submitted” were actually voted on.

  7. Walter,

    Then what are NextGen (Tom Steyer), (George Soros), The Tides Foundation (Soros) and the Center For American Progress (Soros)?

    • Uh – liberals?

      • Is that all ya got? Pitiful!

    • Soros, Steyer, and the others you mention are pikers compared to the massive cash coming from the Reich wing since the abomination of Citizens United. It is a joke to even compare their clout and influence with what the sane among us (“libruls”) can come up with.

  8. David,

    ” fascists like Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh”


    : a way of organizing a society in which a government ruled by a dictator controls the lives of the people and in which people are not allowed to disagree with the government

    : very harsh control or authority


    Is this your pre-April Fool’s Day joke?

    • Webster is so inadequate for complex concepts. Here’s a good intro to fascism from Wikipedia (and Bill and Rush are more properly termed neo-fascists, authoritarian voices of the military-corporate power structure):

      Fascism (/fæʃɪzəm/) is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism[1][2] that came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe. Influenced by national syndicalism, fascism originated in Italy during World War I, combining more typically right-wing positions with elements of left-wing politics,[3] in opposition to liberalism, Marxism, and traditional conservatism. Although fascism is often placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum, several academics have said that the description is inadequate.[4][5]

      Fascists have identified World War I as having been a revolution that brought revolutionary changes in the nature of war, society, the state, and technology, as the advent of total war and total mass mobilization of society had broken down the distinction between civilian and combatant whereby a “military citizenship” arose in which all citizens were involved to the military in some manner during the war.[6][7] The war had resulted in the rise of a powerful state capable of mobilizing millions of people to serve on the front lines or provide economic production and logistics to support those on the front lines, as well as having unprecedented authority to intervene in the lives of citizens.[6][7] Fascists view World War I as having made liberal democracy obsolete and regard total mobilization of society led by a totalitarian single-party state as necessary for a nation to be prepared for armed conflict and to respond effectively to economic difficulties, such a totalitarian state is led by a strong leader as a dictator and a martial government composed of the members of the governing fascist party to forge national unity and maintain a stable and orderly society.[8] Fascism rejects assertions of violence automatically being negative in nature and views political violence, war, and imperialism as means that can achieve national rejuvenation.[9][10][11][12]

      Fascism borrowed theories and terminology from socialism but replaced socialism’s focus on class conflict with a focus on conflict between nations and races.[13] Fascists advocate a mixed economy, with the principal goal of achieving autarky to secure national self-sufficiency and independence through protectionist and interventionist economic policies.[14] Following World War II, few parties have openly described themselves as fascist, and the term is usually used pejoratively by political opponents. The terms neo-fascist or post-fascist are sometimes applied more formally to describe parties of the far right with ideological similarities to, or roots in, 20th century fascist movements. [15]

  9. You know of course that ANYONE can post (and update) ANYTHING in Wikipedia.

    Try these:

    1. (sometimes initial capital letter) a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.

    2. (sometimes initial capital letter) the philosophy, principles, or methods of fascism.

    3. (initial capital letter) a political movement that employs the principles and methods of fascism, especially the one established by Mussolini in Italy 1922–43.

    Encyclopedia Britannica:

    “fascism, political ideology and mass movement that dominated many parts of central, southern, and eastern Europe between 1919 and 1945 and that also had adherents in western Europe, the United States, South Africa, Japan, Latin America, and the Middle East. Europe’s first fascist leader, Benito Mussolini, took the name of his party from the Latin word fasces, which referred to a bundle of elm or birch rods (usually containing an ax) used as a symbol of penal authority in ancient Rome. Although fascist parties and movements differed significantly from each other, they had many characteristics in common, including extreme militaristic nationalism, contempt for electoral democracy and political and cultural liberalism, a belief in natural social hierarchy and the rule of elites, and the desire to create a Volksgemeinschaft (German: “people’s community”), in which individual interests would be subordinated to the good of the nation”.

    urban dictionary

    “The only official definition of Fascism comes from Benito Mussolini, the founder of fascism, in which he outlines three principles of a fascist philosophy.

    1.”Everything in the state”. The Government is supreme and the country is all-encompasing, and all within it must conform to the ruling body, often a dictator.

    2.”Nothing outside the state”. The country must grow and the implied goal of any fascist nation is to rule the world, and have every human submit to the government.

    3.”Nothing against the state”. Any type of questioning the government is not to be tolerated. If you do not see things our way, you are wrong. If you do not agree with the government, you cannot be allowed to live and taint the minds of the rest of the good citizens.

    The use of militarism was implied only as a means to accomplish one of the three above principles, mainly to keep the people and rest of the world in line. Fascist countries are known for their harmony and lack of internal strife. There are no conflicting parties or elections in fascist countries.

    Fascism is a “complex concept”? Maybe for those who don’t have an abundance of little gray cells

  10. Iran is a fascist government, which is why allowing them to acquire an atomic bomb would be one of the largest mistakes in human history.

    I am perplexed when some want to restrict the ownership of handguns here, but then do not protest Iran getting a nuclear weapon.

    Allowing the Ayatollah to have a nuclear weapon and an inter-continental ballistic missile, would be the equivalent of allowing Hitler to have these weapons. Both of these leaders are megalomaniacs with desires to “expand” their territories. Hitler and his fascist cohorts left 50,000,000 dead, and untold more injured and homeless.

    Just think what Hitler would have done if he had a nuclear warhead to place on his V-2 rockets.

    Iran with a bomb will most certainly set off a scramble by other middle eastern nations to acquire a nuclear weapon to defend themselves from Iran.

    If you think 9/11 changed our lives, consider what one nuclear explosion in any city in the world will do, as desperate fascists will do desperate things, just to stay in power. All fascist control their own citizens with violence, which is why their first order of control is to disarm their citizens.

    To think this decision is in the hands of a one term Senator and community organizer, is a little frightening.

    This decision, may in the end, turn out to be one of the most important in human history.

    • Excellent comment Doug. Why don’t you submit that as a LETTER to the herald and the Cascadia Weekly?

    • I believe peace talks are the best way to keep Iran from getting the bomb and the Republicans ill-conceived letter threatens those talks.

      • You must be kidding! Iran has its nuclear weapons development program on a fast track. They are the number one exporter of terrorism in the world.

        Are you the Neville Chamberlain of Bellingham?

      • Uh Wayne – You might want to consider why we don’t attack Iran or North Korea or Pakistan. Can you guess? Because they actually HAVE nuclear weapon capabiiity. Unlike Iraq or Afghanistan or Somalia or Vietnam or . . . (fill in your favorite country the US has invaded over the last 50 years).

        The Neville Chamberlain dig is just stupid. You might rather ask Riley if he is trying to be Walter Winchell.

      • Iran actually HAS nuclear weapon capability? Not according to John Kerry.

        As former Defense Secretary William Perry (“Let’s Make a Deal with Iran”) summed it up in a Politico op-ed this week, “The latest round of negotiations has the United States and Iran mulling a nuclear agreement that would prevent Tehran from amassing enough material to make a bomb for at least 10 years.” But the possibility—and with it the objective—of completely ending Iranian uranium enrichment activity altogether evaporated years ago. That’s why the P5+1 nations have instead focused on preventing an Iranian “breakout,” that is, being able to clandestinely assemble a weaponized device in under a year’s time:

        How about Matt Drudge instead of Walter Winchell?

      • Riley, your opinion also happens to match Democratic talking points.

        You may have come to your opinion via serious analysis, instead of parroting the Democratic line, but I cannot tell is you have really analyzed this.

        I believe that the US position got stronger, when the letter from US Senators was sent. Iran knows now to get a deal, it will have to satisfy the United States Senate, which in case you have forgotten is, and has been the process for major Treaties throughout the history of the United States.

        Iranians are master negotiators, as the sat astride the Silk Road for centuries. The old negotiating strategy of insisting the sales manager has a final veto on sales, is not new to them. Iranians respect tough negotiators.

        If the Iranians want a deal, they will negotiate.

        Hitlers’ megalomania believed in the master race. Hirohito believed he was the son of God. The Ayatollah believes his brand of Islam is the master religion.

        Leaving any megalomaniac regime in charge of spinning centrifuges, fissile material, and inter-continental missiles may be taking a risk with society as we know it. I am not willing to take this risk a regime that has shown such violent and untrustworthy tendencies

        I am not saying attack Iran, but if we keep the price of oil under $65, along with sanctions, then their economy will collapse, which is precisely what caused the Soviet Unions collapse. It worked for the Soviet Union, and will likely work for Iran..

        What if you are wrong, Riley and a modern day Hitler gets the bomb??

        What if they use it on Tel Aviv ?? It is not impossible, unless Iran does not have the bomb.

        If there was one enduring lesson of WWII, it is that negotiating with madmen, is gambling with a lot of innocent lives, who never had a say in the negotiations.

        Even Republican Senators have a right to free speech, which is the second thing a fascist government seizes, after the guns, from its citizens.

      • Another excellent comment that probably will go over the Matt Drudge of Bellingham’s head.

      • It is likely that Iran has a prototype nuclear weapon, but whether it has delivery capability is another story. Iran’s nuclear capabilities/ambitions are not really the problem. For example, there were lots of weapons that “went missing” after the breakup of the Soviet Union and “theoretically” they went to the highest bidder. The US is also bad at tracking fissionable material, so it is entirely possible Iran or even ISIL has nuclear weapons that say “Made in USA” on the side – again by bidding on the open market. The world is very unstable at the moment – which is exactly WHY diplomacy is so very important.

        It is not to the Republicans’ advantage to badger the Obama Administration at this point in negotiations. The vaunted “letter” from Tom Cotton, et al, was just a stupid schoolboy prank.

        You might also want to consider how the US is letting Iran use Iraqi airspace for the first time AND how the most effective counterforce to ISIS is the Iranian militias that comprise the largest and best counteroffensives to ISIS. To paraphrase Churchill when speaking about the Germans and Russians, “Let the Shia and Sunni groups fight it out awhile longer.”

        Finally, ISIS are not good administrators. If the US would withdraw, they would have to actually govern the “caliphate” they have created and they would likely fail miserably. The US just keeps them in power by the stupid airstrikes. The US-led meddling just helps the ISIS recruiters meet their weekly quotas. [And I am not saying anything that some military advisors haven’t already said, BTW.]

        The problem with you rightwingers who want to live in your fantasy world is that you don’t know what realpolitik really means.

  11. “The world is very unstable at the moment – which is exactly WHY diplomacy is so very important”-So you are recommending that John Kerry takes James Taylor to the talks to serenade the Iranians with “You Got a Friend”?

    “The problem with you rightwingers who want to live in your fantasy world is that you don’t know what realpolitik really means”-that’s BAAAAALONEY and you know it, this is theoretical not material and certainly not practical in view of who we are dealing with.

    Remember Jimmy Carter and the 1979 hostage crisis? Carter was a toothless tiger and botched the rescue attempt while Ross Perot, a private citizen, sent his own people in an recovered his employees.

    The problem with you leftwingers who want to live in your fantasy world is that you don’t know what realpolitik really means.

    • Uh – do you have any original thoughts or just spin of what I say? It is kind of like you ingest it, regurgitate it and spin in circles so that you spew all over those of us who are actually trying to work on alternatives.

      You should be appreciative of Riley and his liberal cohorts for providing you with a platform. I know I am.

      • “SPIN”-the favorite word of the politician.

        What alternatives? i am waiting for your “new” ideas.

        Thanks Riley.

  12. […] Charter Review has been the center of a good deal of controversy this year. Most famously, they considered a motion to cut off government funding to local non-profits, a move […]

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